The future of healthcare will be defined by global collaboration and using technology to amplify our existing resources. The distribution of knowledge and skills, as well as the creation of a framework that can facilitate the interchange of information while allowing expertise to be supplied no matter where the patient is, is the long-term goal for worldwide access to high-quality healthcare.

One way of analysing the moving of knowledge is through understanding the migration of people. According to the Kerala Migration Study of 2016, Indians make up 21.5 percent of the nursing workforce in Dubai, 10.2 percent in the UK, and 6.1 percent in the US. The reasons for moving away will vary for different people, but the outcome is often the exchange of ideas and knowledge. There’s a strong inclination towards nursing education, particularly in Southern India. And the highly skilled nurses that travel to other countries, become an indispensable part of the healthcare system there.

In fact, so much so that some state governments had signed agreements with other countries to allow Indian nurses to work in other countries or how one of the first generation of Indian nurses in Germany were fondly called “Brown Angels”. It is evident that Indian nurses have made an impact on a worldwide scale.

These patterns of movement of skill and knowledge show us that the greater good for healthcare is knowledge exchange and dissemination, whether it’s through migration of people or through the medium of Internet. However the digitalization of systems and infrastructures has opened up new opportunities for spreading knowledge and learning across the globe. According to WHO, “the vision of the global strategy is to improve health for everyone, everywhere by accelerating the development and adoption of appropriate, accessible, affordable, scalable and sustainable person centric digital health solutions to prevent, detect and respond to epidemics and pandemics, developing infrastructure and applications that enable countries to use health data to promote health and well-being, and to achieve the health-related Sustainable Development Goals and the triple billion targets of WHO’s Thirteenth General Programme of Work, 2019–2023.”

A vision that looks at healthcare being achieved through de-centralised and equitable means is a vision that encompasses the true essence of healthcare for all. The concept of “digital health” is defined as “the field of knowledge and practice associated with the development and use of digital technologies to improve health” by WHO. While the change towards digitalizing healthcare, which is primarily an in-person practice, may seem like a challenge, it’s not impossible to implement. Small steps in the right direction can make a big difference.

By training a body of nurses in different states, the programme has been able to widen the reach for better healthcare practices to more people and essentially work towards trying to reduce the disparity in quality care. The next step of healthcare lies in joining hands within the nation as well as outside, and understanding the space that technology offers to adapt wellness and care for a healthy future for all.